…Says, it has not brought anyone out of poverty
…2023 elections should not be the discussion now
…My life under threat —Anyim
By Dennis Agbo
Sequel to the defection of the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, reactions and counter-reactions have continued to trail the governor’s move.
The Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 elections, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday, also reacted to the defection, saying such political dramas should not form the focus of Nigerians when the country is facing severe economic recession.
This is coming days after Umahi had claimed that the plan was for the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim and National Assembly members to join him in APC after two weeks. Umahi had alleged that Anyim and others stabbed him in the back by staying put in PDP.
But countering Umahi’s position, Anyim had cried out over alleged threat to his life , describing Umahi as pitiably delusional. Anyim dismissed Umahi as a prisoner of his greed and inordinate ambition and a drowning man looking for who to drag down with him.
However, Peter Obi, who was responding to a question during his appearance on Arise Television, said he had, for a long time, refrained from commenting on Umahi’s defection because the country had more pressing economic issues to solve. He said it would be unfair to Nigerians if their political leaders focused on such trivial issues as defection when a greater percentage of the population were increasingly finding it difficult to put food on their tables.
“As at today, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world. We have the highest number of out-of-school children. Our unemployment rate is skyrocketing every day, food stuffs prices are soaring higher and people are dying of hunger. Would it be fair for us to turn blind eyes to all these challenges facing our people and occupy ourselves with who leaves a particular political party or who does not?” Obi asked.
He advised every well meaning Nigerian and every leader who has the interest of the people at heart, to leave irrelevant political games and join forces to save Nigeria’s economy from collapsing completely. He insisted that 2023 elections should not be the discussion now, especially with the depressing economic situation prevalent in the country.
“How many people have been pulled out of poverty by Umahi’s defection? Will Nigeria exit recession because Umahi left PDP? What economic value does Umahi’s defection to APC have on the average Nigerian on the street who is struggling to put food on their table? We must not be distracted by political movements at this time. Anyone is free to belong to any political party. Our common focus should be saving our economy and making our governance fruitful and productive”, Obi said.
My life under threat —Anyim
Recall that on Monday night, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim had alerted that Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State was after his life for refusing to join him him to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In an open letter copied to President Muhammadu Buhari and all the heads of security agencies in Nigeria, Anyim had alleged that people had died mysteriously in Umahi’s administration and asked the federal government to protect him.
According to Anyim, he would not have bothered to respond to Umahi’s gibberishness because he was a sinking man with sinister plan.
Anyim said: “Governor Umahi is pitiably delusional. He is a prisoner of his greed and inordinate ambition. Here is a drowning man looking for who to drag down with him. Governor Umahi has made his worst mistake after his latest misadventure by taking on me and other noble and respectable sons of Ebonyi State who have served and continued to serve our dear state with resolute commitment, dedication and integrity.
“The discerning public knows that he has been on the plan for a long time and when he decided to consummate it, he suddenly concocted an accusation against PDP, that PDP was not willing to zone Presidency to the South East.
“People who know Gov. Umahi know that he normally starts this way whenever he is hatching a sinister plan. He raises dusts, makes wild allegations and accusations against people just to divert the attention of the public before he strikes. It is public knowledge that Gov. Umahi had been planning his defection to the All Progressive Congress, APC for a long time.
“Unable to contain and manage the unsavory reactions from the public, he ran to my home in the company of some high-profile people on the 20th of November2020 and pleaded with me to defect to APC, saying that if I do, others will follow suit. I pointed out to him that his approach has made it almost impossible for anybody to defect.
“He pleaded with me that if I cannot defect now, I should not attend any PDP meetings and I said no, I must attend PDP meetings as long as I am in PDP. He realized that he could not persuade anybody when he saw the crème of Ebonyi Elders and citizens that gathered for the inauguration of PDP Caretaker Committee. He could no longer sleep and declared war on every one who has refused to defect with him.”
“How can a man in his 6th year as Governor of a State suddenly realise that a former President of the Senate, a former Governor of the State and two-time serving Senator Dr. Sam Egwu, Senator Obinna Ogba, two time serving Senator, are now cultists and IPOB members. Something is wrong somewhere. It is obvious that either something is pursuing Governor Umahi or that he is pursuing something.
“The purpose of this response is to alert the public and the security agencies in particular on the schemes of Gov. David Umahi so that they will read him upfront and be wary of him and his allegations.
“The only offence we committed is that we refused to follow Gov. Umahi in his political adventure. We do not know when belonging to parties of one’s choice has become an offence against a Governor or means fighting a Governor.
“Security agencies, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Judges should note that Gov. Umahi had boasted that one of the gains of his defection is that he has been promised absolute use of the security agencies for all that he desires to do.
“That the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation is his friend and will soon visit Abakaliki the second time and that he will use him to deal with those opposed to him using the EFCC.
“That he will extensively use the courts to not only make it impossible for PDP to function in the state but also to frustrate those opposed to him including sending them to prison.
“I fully understand that what Umahi meant by ‘this will be the last fight I will fight’, is that he will kill me so that I will not live to fight again.
“While I invite the security agencies to note this plan, I want to assure Gov. Umahi that my blood is not available for him in pursuit of his ambition.”